Please Mind Your Mind

"A man's mind is stretched by a new idea or sensation, and never shrinks back to its former dimensions." ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., Autocrat of the Breakfast Table

Have you ever watched a great movie where the music built the scene as much as the action and secretly wished you had a soundtrack of your life?

Music allows you to harness the power of memory and imagery. It can connect you with something you heard before. When you are having a bad day and feel in disarray, you can play a pleasing melody that you remember your grandmother humming when you were a child. Music helps inspire us to exercise harder, to concentrate better, to sleep more soundly and to calm our nerves.

And while you may be doing this to a certain extent already, you can train your brain to increasingly respond to the musical cues you give it, the same way you train your muscles. It is very simple. You can improve your mood, performance, even your outlook on life just by figuring out how different types of music make you feel and creating playlists for everything from motivating you at work to helping you wind down at the end of a stressful day.

People can act like their own doctors and prescribe their own music. However, a little patience is required. Brain music therapy does not offer the quick fix of anti-depressants, for example. One has to learn to tailor the music to the mindset they are in. For some people, it is a process. Others know instantly.

How to choose your Playlists?

Researchers have known that music has healing properties. It has been shown to reduce pain in breast cancer patients undergoing treatment and to minimize the symptoms of depression. But how do you build your personal playlist? Here is a checklist:

  • Pick songs you really like;
  • Pay attention to when a song works and when it does not;
  • Train your memory. When you find a song works, keep playing it whenever you are in that given situation;
  • Make playlists for different situations, like one for driving home from work and one for promoting good sleep;
  • Consider creating a playlist that builds to a climax to continually motivate you.